Currently, 60% of individuals use the internet more than 5 times a day, with 91% saying that Facebook was their preferred social media platform. These statistics show that the online community is a vital area companies should be taking advantage of to reach consumers.

Why should your business use social media?

Social media’s main purpose is to connect people. When businesses use social media, not only are they able to connect with their audience, their audience is able to grow.

In the Yellow Social Media Report 2018, over 50% of consumers highlighted saying that they are more likely to trust a brand if their social media is up to date, engaging and interact regularly with their customers through various online platforms.

Not only will businesses be able to grow their platform, they will also be able to monitor their competitors. It is important for brands to be aware of what their competitors are offering and working towards. If businesses are not silently following their competitors, it would be easy for brands to become unaware of what they are really competing against and potentially fall out of the competition.

What to consider before starting social media accounts

For a business to optimise online spaces, it is important that they begin with a clear and concise image of how their brand is going to look on each platform, and how to play to each platform’s strengths.

Each platform appeals to a different audience through its algorithms, features, usability and overall attraction. Businesses should consider the demographic they are trying to target and then decide which platforms will be beneficial for reaching their desired audience. In saying this, businesses should not fall into the trap of using only one platform. Although each platform has a particular demographic, this is only a majority of the individuals who use the platform. The smaller portion should not be ignored.

Once you have decided which platforms you want to use to enhance your business, you should begin to understand the basics of each platform’s algorithm. It is one thing to post on social media, but it is another thing to post effectively. For platforms such as Facebook, who work to make family and friend posts priority rather than business posts, it would be useless to post ‘normally’. These factors must be taken into account in order for posts to be seen and recognised.

When businesses first post content there will be a certain element of educated guesses as to when the best time to post is and the alike. This is one of the vital reasons why businesses need to be vigilant at monitoring their analytics. The important information that businesses that should be tracked are:

  • Optimal day and time to post
  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Impressions
  • New users/viewers
  • Audience sources

This information will give businesses an overall view of their audience, how well their content is performing and what content has received the most traction.

How to make online audiences take advantage of offline opportunities

With all this information, how does a brand make their followers interact with their brand offline in terms of sales and creating profit?
The top three reasons why consumers follow brands on social media are:

  • Discounts
  • Give-aways
  • Product information

Social media should be used as an extension of an offline brand. It should be used to compliment and reach a wider audience, but not take away from their offline aspect. Brands and businesses should not be afraid to post information about their offline space in their online space as this will create a cohesive relationship between their social media following and their physical business.

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